broken chainInternational Infection Prevention Week, October 16 to 22, raises awareness of the role infection prevention plays to improve patient safety. The 2016 theme, “Break the Chain of Infection“,  emphasizes how easily infections and germs can be spread from person to person, and ways to break the chain at each link. The chain of infection has six links, which consist of:

  • Infectious agent: the pathogen (germ) that causes diseases
  • Reservoir:  places in the environment where the pathogen lives (like people, animals and insects, medical equipment, and soil and water)
  • Portal of exit: the way the infectious agent leaves the reservoir (through open wounds, aerosols, and splatter of body fluids, including coughing, sneezing, and saliva)
  • Means of transmission: the ways the infectious agent can be passed on (through direct contact, ingestion, or inhalation)
  • Portal of entry: the way the infectious agent can enter a new host (through broken skin, the respiratory tract, mucous membranes, and catheters and lines)
  • Susceptible host: any person (the most vulnerable of whom are receiving healthcare, are immunocompromised, or have invasive medical devices including lines, devices, and airways)

For this year’s Infection Prevention week, the our Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Program, in collaboration with our partners, will invite Arizona healthcare facilities to participate in breaking the chain of infection.

Last year, the HAI program sent IIPW Campaign materials to more than 60 facilities throughout the state . This year, the goal is to reach and assist 100 facilities.

Healthcare facilities are encouraged to register as participants and submit pictures of their team members.  Those who register will receive an International Infection Prevention Week kit filled with items that remind healthcare providers and their patients to practice hand hygiene and stop the spread of germs. Governor Doug Ducey has also taken part in this campaign by declaring October 16-22 as Arizona Infection Prevention Week. For more information please visit our HAI IIPW webpage and let’s spread the word that infection prevention is everyone’s business.